Looking for a chance to burn off some Thanksgiving dinner calories while checking a few things off your shopping list? While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are well-known record breaking shopping days, please think about the hard work of our beloved small businesses, think local, and support Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers. Now in its seventh year, Small Business Saturday is held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and has been embraced by numerous business organizations as part of the holiday shopping tradition to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.
From Main Street shops to high-tech startups, America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engine of our economy and one of our country’s greatest assets. Over the last two decades, small and new businesses have been responsible for creating 2 out of every 3 new jobs, and today the country’s 28 million small firms employ 60 million Americans, half of the private sector workforce. Half! When America’s small businesses are strong and growing, our communities are strong and growing.
We know, we know — online shopping is a growing trend. But have any of the popular sites done anything for our or any other local community lately? Our local little guys are the first ones asked for donations, contributions, or volunteer time for the growing number of civic, charitable, and non-profit organizations here. We know for sure they give back. We know for sure readers of this column know this. Please think about that before you sit on your sofa with your ipad or laptop and credit card. Bring your cash and credit cards to the local shops — after all, that’s what enables them to give back.
Last year, 88 million people shopped at independently-owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday, spending $14.3 billion that day – that’s 250 percent more than the $5.7 billion in 2014. This year, we encourage St. Tammany residents to join the movement and shop small on November 26! By shopping small, you are showing your support for small businesses and creating goodwill within the communities where you work and live. And with so many outstanding local restaurants, please think local restaurants first for your gift cards! Easy breezy.
Show your love for the businesses we have by spending your dollars right here in St. Tammany. We have encouraged these small businesses to get involved by offering some type of discount or promotion on November 26. For a listing of local Chamber members who will be observing Small Business Saturday, click here.
While you’re out and about shopping, join in the fun and show us your #shopsttammany selfie! Here’s how: take a selfie with the owner, staff or signage at a participating store or restaurant on November 26. Post the selfie using #shopsttammany on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Shoppers are encouraged to submit selfies in more than one location. One selfie will be randomly chosen to win a $50 gift card to a participating member business. The winner will be announced on Monday, November 28.
For information on how your small business can benefit from a Chamber membership call Cynthia Widlitze at 985-273-3002. We’ll see you out and about in local stores this Saturday!